Koichi Yamamoto



 I was born in 1952 in Oppama, Yokosuka city where the seawater nearby was polluted by industrial wastewater at that time. Under dirty conditions, I enjoyed swimming and fishing so often with friends. Many families together enjoyed sea bathing in these old days.

University and Marriage:

 After graduating from “Oppama high school”, I moved to Sapporo to enter Hokkaido University.  Major activities there were swimming in “White bear swimming (and drinking) club” and studying in “the Faculty of Agriculture”. Comfortable living conditions enabled me to spend 12 years until finding a job. I met my wife “Sachiko” by chance when I was 19 in the dormitory room for the swimming club, and we got married when I was 24 in Sapporo. My PhD research was the visualization of cell wall lignification by UV microscopy. The title of doctoral dissertation was “Yearly andseasonal process of maturation of ray parenchyma cells in Pinus species”.

Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI):

I was already 30 when I obtained my PhD, and I needed to earn living expenses myself without Sachiko’s income. She was working so generously in the Hokkaido blanch of Japan Steel Company to kindly help my study until I was 30 years old. Employment of a person having PhD was quite limited, and I decided to be a researcher in the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.  National civil service examination (for administrative bureaucracy) was required to get a job in any National Research Institute at that time, and the test was not so easy for me to study wide ranges of general education. The competition rate was ×10.

Hard study for 3 months gave me a chance to work in FFPRI from 1982.  FFPRI was established in 1905 being named as the Forest experimental station under the Forest Service. I was assigned to the wood preservation laboratory even though my major at university was wood anatomy. The lab had a lot of studies on-going concerning testing and analytical methods, natural durability, efficacy of various preservatives such as CCA and Creosote, impregnation processes, and stake tests at the time I joined. My first topics at the lab in FFPRI concerned the mechanism and acceleration of CCA fixation.

Overseas study during FFPRI:

The institute gave me chances to work overseas, and I explored organizations that accepted my work. I was able to experience foreign life with my family at the University of British Columbia (1991-1992, and 1994), the University Science Malaysia (1995-1997), the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (1986-1987), and the Forest Science Institute Vietnam (single assignment of short stay in 2000 and 2001).  During overseas life, all of my family could earn both mental and linguistic immunity power against foreign languages and cultures!


I am happy to write my Bio’s in the IRG Newsletter, and I explored my old albums and found several photos which remembered previous IRG meetings. My first IRG meeting was IRG20 (1989) in Lappeenranta, Finland, and then I had continued participation at IRG21 (1990) in Rotorua, New Zealand, IRG22 (1991) in Kyoto Japan, IRG23 (1992) in Harrogate, United Kingdom, and IRG24 (1993) in Orlando, Florida, USA.  During the following several years I was unable to attend IRG meetings as I was working at the University Science Malaysia with Dr. Othman Sulaiman and Dr. Rokia Hashim.  I re-started continuous participation at IRG29 (1998) through IRG34 in 2003.  I was absent from IRG35, but participated in IRG36 in India, IRG37 in Norway, IRG38 in Wyoming in the US, and IRG39 in Istanbul Turkey because of the duty of being on the Scientific Program Committee (SPC).  The hard efforts with work on the SPC for me had been very fulfilling, but following that my IRG participation shifted to fun.

Current interests:

Taking photos of steam locomotives (SL) was my major fun during my teenage years, and now it changes just ride-any-train following the disappearance of steam locomotives.  Additional interests include exploring old shops with wooden cold-sign, which fascinated me when I was 57.  Bicycling everyday is good for me both physicallyand mentally these days.

Dinosaur within the IRG:

I transformed into a new species; IRGosaurus yamanensis based on the Local Code of Zoological Nomenclature during IRG50 in Quebec, and the species will join the future IRG.

This bio was written for the December 2019 IRG Newsletter.